Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How To Do Well on Your Life Insurance Physical

The results of your life insurance physical have a big influence on whether you qualify for the best rates. Here are six ways to make sure you do your best.

By Mary Pollman – SelectQuote

If you have been shopping, you already know the life Insurance policies with the lowest prices always require some kind of physical exam.

Life insurance physicals are usually done by parameds. The paramedical firm calls you. You set the appointment. They send a technician to your home or office. The exam is over in 15 or 20 minutes.

Not very difficult. But VERY important. The results of your life insurance physical have a big influence on whether you’ll qualify for the best rates – or even good rates. So you want to do your best on this test.

Here’s how to do your best on your life insurance physical.

1. Schedule the exam for morning, because you should avoid eating or drinking anything, except water, for 8 to 12 hours before you’re tested.
2. Schedule the exam for a place where you’re relaxed. Having it at the office might be convenient, but if you have a stressful commute and the phone starts ringing the minute you walk in the door, don’t do it there. On the other hand, if getting the kids off to school and yourself off to work makes morning at home the most stressful part of your day, a mid-morning exam at the office might be perfect. Being relaxed will mainly impact your blood pressure.
3. Another way to lower your blood pressure reading is to have the exam technician take that last, after they have asked the health questions, taken the urine sample, etc. You’re usually much more relaxed then.
4. Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours before the exam. If an hour on the Stairmaster or at the gym is part of your daily routine, give yourself the day off. Exercise can temporarily elevate blood pressure.
5. We’ve emphasized blood pressure because your underwriter will. He or she will also zero in on your cholesterol. Eating right for a few days before the exam can make a notable difference in your cholesterol reading. Stay away from fatty foods, rich desserts and alcohol for three or four days. Go for the green leafies, fresh fruits and whole grains.
6. If you take any medications, stay on your regular schedule – including the day of the exam. This advice will seem obvious if you take medicine to control cholesterol or blood pressure, but it applies to any prescription medicine you take.

Good scores on your life insurance physical can really pay off.
For example, for a 45-year-old man, Preferred rates can beat Standard rates by 35-40% with some life insurance policies.* Being rated Preferred can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Your rating is based to a great extent, on the results of your life insurance physical.

By the way, life insurance exams are completely confidential, but you have a right to the results. Just let the company from whom you bought the policy know you want them.

About the author. Mary Pollman, CLU, has been writing about life insurance, long-term care insurance and annuities for more than 20 years. She has contributed to insurance publications, websites, consumer product literature and agent training. Mary held senior management positions in communications and marketing with two life insurance companies. She is an editorial advisor to SelectQuote.

· We looked at Banner OPTerm 20 at $500,000 as an example. A 45-year-old male would pay $1,205 if rated Standard, $755 if rated Preferred – a savings of over 37%.

*Banner OPTerm 20-Year: OPTerm 10 issue ages 20-80. OPTerm 15 issue ages 20-70. Opterm 20 issue ages 20-65 and 20-62 Oregon only. OPTerm 30 issue ages 20-50 and 20-45 Oregon tobacco classes only. Premium rates vary by coverage amount: $100,000-$249,999, $250,000-$999,999 or $1 million and above. Premiums quoted include $50 annual policy fee. Premiums are guaranteed to stay level for 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, respectively, and increase annually after initial guarantee period. OPTerm policies can be issued in preferred plus non-tobacco (no tobacco use in past 36 months), preferred non-tobacco (no tobacco use in the last 24 months), standard plus non-tobacco or standard non-tobacco (no tobacco use in past 12 months) and standard tobacco classes. OPTerm 10, 15 and 20 substandard policies can be issued through Table 4. OPTerm 30 substandard policies can be issued through Table 12. Coverage can be renewed to age 95. OPTerm policy form #RT-97. Forms and policy provisions vary by state. Not available in all states. Policy descriptions provided here are not a statement of contract. Rates as of 8-14-07. Advertising Compliance #07-082


Get coaching on your life insurance exam from SelectQuote.
Part of our service is the personal advice we provide our customers – helping them decide what life insurance policy is best for them and then helping them get the best rates for it. To reach a SelectQuote Licensed Expert. Call toll-free 1-888-739-7965. Or go to our website,

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